Kazajstán rechaza ley propuesta restrictivando las religiónes

Kazakhstan rejects proposed restrictive religion law
Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council ruled that proposed legislation would have severely limited the freedom of religious minorities and is therefore unconstitutional. Although President Nazarbayev still has 30 days to sign the law anyway, the Kazakhstan embassy in Washington relates that he has no intention of doing so.

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2009
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Kazakhstan rejects proposed restrictive religion law

ASTANA, Kazakhstan—Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council ruled that proposed legislation, approved by Kazakhstan’s Parliament and sent to President Nazarbayev for signature, was unconstitutional. The proposed law would have severely limited the freedom of religious minorities. If passed, their freedom to meet together for prayer and study, build places of worship, import and distribute religious literature, and even to retain legal status would have been endangered. Although President Nazarbayev has 30 days to sign the law over the objection of the Constitutional Council, the Office of the General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses was informed by the Kazakhstan embassy in Washington that he has no intention of doing so.

Further confirming Kazakhstan’s commitment to adhere to internationally accepted standards of human rights, President Nazarbayev recently signed and ratified Kazakhstan’s Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This guarantees to residents of Kazakhstan the right, after exhausting domestic remedies, to appeal to the Human Rights Committee of the UN.

In response to these positive developments, Philip Brumley, the General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses, stated: “This is good news for the over 16,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kazakhstan and for the entire worldwide brotherhood of over seven million Witnesses, who share their joy. We commend the authorities of Kazakhstan for their wisdom and diligence in protecting and upholding the human rights of their citizens.”

Kazakhstan’s steps to protect the rights of religious minorities, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in signing the ICCPR give further evidence of its ongoing efforts to conform to internationally accepted standards of human rights.

Polat Bekzhan, telephone: +7 727 226 33 63
Religious Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Republic of Kazakhstan
Gregory Olds, telephone: +1-646-269-3464
Philip Brumley, telephone: +1-845-306-0711
Office of General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses

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